Nissan Heading in ‘right direction’ despite ‘frustrating’ podium loss

Last weekend’s inaugural Cape Town E-Prix ended in heartbreak for the Nissan Formula E Team, after Sacha Fenestraz crashed out of third on the final lap, following contact with Nick Cassidy.

Fenestraz’s weekend was exceptional, with the rookie having claimed his maiden podium in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. As well as that, Fenestraz’s pole time was a new record for the fastest lap in the history of the sport, giving the Frenchman something to fill him with heaps of confidence. Despite having started on pole, Fenestraz led very little of the race and lingered around third and fourth, before holding on to third for the final couple of laps.

He crashed into a wall at the Turn Two chicane, though, following contact from behind by Cassidy, meaning the rookie left South Africa with just his three points for claiming pole.

For Norman Nato it was a solid weekend, with the French driver having started the race in ninth, before finishing eighth. It meant he added more valuable points to the team’s tally; however, it should’ve been so much more following Fenestraz’s remarkable pace.

As a result of the rookie’s last lap crash, Nissan remain ninth in the Constructors’ Championship, with Team Principal Tommaso Volpe aware that the Japanese manufacturer haven’t claimed the “results our pace has deserved”. Despite the bad luck, Volpe recognises that the team are “going in the right direction”, with their car certainly appearing to have superb pace.

“For the second race in a row the whole team did a brilliant job. It’s frustrating as Sacha has been denied a podium due to contact again. Pole position was a great feeling, we knew it was possible but it’s up to us to put everything together, which we did. Sacha drove several amazing laps and deservedly clinched pole. He was unfortunate during the race, with the unlucky timing of the second Full Course Yellow as he was taking Attack Mode dropping him down to fourth.

“He did well to get back up into third before contact from another driver on the last lap sent him into the wall, which is frustrating because he was on for a lot of points. Norman did a good job today, he had some traffic in qualifying but put in a good performance to finish in the top-10 for a second race in a row. Now we’re looking forward to a small break after four events in quick succession, and we’ll look at what we can improve ahead of Sao Paulo. We haven’t had the results our pace has deserved, but we’re definitely going in the right direction.”